The Importance of Sleep on Productivity
Sleep is essential to be a normal functioning human being, but when it comes to the 9-5 getting those zzz's is especially important if you want to boss your careers. Not getting enough sleep can impact productivity in the short and long term, so we've decided to explore why and how we can make sleep a priority, ASAP.
Our brains are one complex piece of organic machinery, and sleep is the brain's go-juice. Without it we put a lot of pressure on our minds to perform during the day; just as it's impossible to spend a whole day at the gym working just one muscle group without it getting tired and eventually not wanting to do anymore without rest, so the brain needs sleep to perform at its best.
In the short term, many of us have experienced dropping the ball after a bad night's sleep, or taking twice as long to do an ordinarily simple task. In the long-term however, sleep can affect both our mental and physical health and lead to time off work as the effects of sleeplessness accumulate.
Rather than scaring you into an early bedtime, we want to focus on what you'll gain from a good night's sleep, so take a look at the tip of the productivity-iceberg below:
One of the known functions of sleep is making and sorting through our memories. Without it, both our short and long term memory is negatively affected, and what with needing to be 10 steps ahead in most 9-5s, making sure our memory stays sharp can keep us ahead of the curve.
Spelling someone's name wrong in an email, adding the wrong attachment, forgetting to add an attachment altogether... the list of tiny mistakes at work are endless, but can easily pile up if we're feeling foggy. Being able to catch ourselves before a mistake is made needs an alert mind, and sleep allows us the superpower of eagle-eye vision on any office or email mistakes.
Which software do we go for? Which customer do we chase? Which price do we offer? Decisions are made every minute in the 9-5 and - not to be dramatic - can sometimes be the difference between success and failure. And even on the smaller scale; where to go for lunch? If we're spending £8 on a sandwich it better be a good one.
Distractions come up all the time, whether you're in the office or working from home. A text, social media, the news, the really chatty guy who always hangs out by the coffee machine, an email, or simply something on your mind. Getting enough sleep allows us to recover from distractions faster rather than fall down into the rabbit hole of procrastination, and ultimately means we can finish our work faster, better, and get on with all the other things we have planned for the day.
Whether mentally or physically, getting enough sleep means that we will be healthier when our next holiday rolls around, rather than a blithering wreck who needs a helping hand getting on the plane. Staff suffering from burnout cost companies millions every year, so if you feel your sleep could be improved by not commuting, a later start time, or some other compromise, speak to your manager about altering your working schedule so that you both benefit.
Getting 7-9 hours of sleep can seem pretty difficult from Monday to Friday. Between wanting to have some semblance of a social life, responsibilities at home, as well as being a good employee it seems there's barely any time to squeeze in sleep. It can take a while to made a regular bedtime a habit, but in the long run it will benefit every aspect of all the things you're trying to juggle. If you're interested in improving your bedtime routine, take a look at our blog on ways to settle in for the night.